Sometimes, buying cheaper isn’t always better– in some cases, it can be downright risky.  While you may not expect these everyday household items to be a health hazard, research has found that germs and disease cling to parts of your home you wouldn’t expect.  The best way to get rid of the risk is to replace things when possible:

1. Carpets: Old carpets could have mold and fungus within or below the carpet fibers.  Shampooing or cleaning carpets can actually do more harm than good, for mold grows in damp environments.  Steam cleaning with a solution of vinegar, alcohol, soap and warm water actually helps kill mold colonies.

2.  Water Pitcher Filters: Surprising as it may be, older filters give out contaminated water shortly after they expire.  If your pitcher is releasing water from the filter at a slower rate, chances are its time to change the filter.  Make sure to stock up on these filters so that you are always drinking clean water.

3.  Air Fresheners: Refill solutions for air fresheners can actually be harmful to your health.  Oils released from refills could actually be harmful to your skin, and touching the oils can cause dermatitis and other skin reactions.  Make sure to never get these solutions on your skin and follow the refill instructions to insure safety.

4.  Ammonia:  Mild inhalation of the standby cleaning product could cause respiratory problems, so be sure to keep it away from young children.  Contact with skin can also cause allergic reactions.  When using this product, be sure to wear gloves and avoid prolonged inhalation.

5.  Toothpaste: Most mainstream toothpaste brands add artificial sweeteners and toxins to help clean the surface of your teeth.  Be careful not to ingest toothpaste and consider organic, flouride-free toothpastes instead.

6.  Furniture Polish: Like ammonia, inhalation of furniture polish poses serious health risks, including “polish poisoning,” and eye irritation.  If you ever have any of these symptoms, it is important that you call 911 and poison control immediately.  Try not to spend too much time inhaling near the polish, and if you must use it, take breaks during polishing.